For fashion fans, one of the biggest dates in Britain’s events calendar is the bi-annual London Fashion Week. This year, from 15 to 19 September, the crème da la crème of the fashion world will descend on London for a seven-day showcase of the latest designs and trends.
Whilst London Fashion Week is a trade event and the coveted front row seats of the designer shows are reserved for celebrities, stylists and fashion editors, the public can experience the buzz of a designer catwalk show first hand at The London Fashion Week Festival, from 21 – 24 September 2017. This city-wide event allows shoppers direct access to designers and industry insiders, with the main ticketed event including catwalk shows from a selection of London’s hottest designers, plus industry talks and curated pop-up shops from over 150 international and British brands. http://londonfashionweekfestival.com/
London Fashion Week is renowned for showcasing rising fashion talents, but they take their place alongside iconic British designers who return year after year and, so far, haven’t gone out of fashion. Visitors should seek out these six iconic British fashion designers and take a piece of unique British style home.
Vivienne Westwood has been at the forefront of fashion ever since she brought punk into the mainstream in the 1970s. She made clothes for Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren’s store on the King’s Road in Chelsea which, scandalously for some, became simply known as ‘SEX’. Never one to shy away from public attention, Westwood has used her fashion lines to convey messages linked to the causes she is passionate about, including climate change and politics. She has stores in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow and Cardiff.
Sarah Burton became Creative Director of the Alexander McQueen brand after Lee Alexander McQueen’s untimely death in 2010. She went on to become a global fashion icon when she designed the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. Burton has spent her entire fashion career at Alexander McQueen and was inspired by a trip to south-west England’s Cornwall for her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. Find Alexander McQueen stores in London and at Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, south-east England – a haven for bargain hunters, with up to 70 per cent off designer brands.
Henry Holland is one of Britain’s most exciting designers and his House of Holland label belies an irresistible sense of why fashion is, above all, about having fun. The 1980s-inspired t-shirts he created in the early 2000s featured slogans such as ‘I’ll tell you who’s boss, Kate Moss.’ Find House of Holland x Habitat at one of Britain’s favourite furniture stores, Habitat, and pick up flamboyant cushions or throws to brighten up your home.
Julien Macdonald Welsh designer Julien Macdonald was introduced to knitting by his mother at a young age, a skill that he built on with a degree in knitwear at The University of Brighton, going on to create knitwear for Chanel and Alexander McQueen. It wasn’t all about wool for Macdonald though, and he launched his own label in 1998 with a ‘Mermaids’ collection, kicking off his reputation as a top British fashion designer.
Kathryn Sargent was the first woman to set up a shop on Savile Row, the London street synonymous with men’s tailoring. She had a 15-year career at the illustrious Gieves & Hawkes, becoming the first female Head Cutter at the company, then went on to set up her own label, which provides a luxury, bespoke tailoring service to discerning gentlemen – and, refreshingly, to stylish women too.
Paul Smith: Nottingham-born designer Paul Smith is a menswear favourite, whose refreshing use of colour marries a focus on excellent tailoring and adorns the best-dressed British gents. So influential in the fashion world, Smith had an entire exhibition devoted to his career at London’s Design Museum. His collections are designed in Nottingham, as well as London, and stocked in stores throughout Britain.